With that in mind, 2016 should be a great year for those who prefer a day wearing hiking boots over high heels and wingtips. Here are the things we're most looking forward to this year.
Beautiful Weather Conditions for All Outdoor Activities1 of 11
2016 has already granted skiers and snowboarders the powdered slopes absent in 2015. Let's keep our fingers crossed that the year continues to provide the perfect weather, no matter your preferred outdoor activity. Here's hoping for dry, crisp weather for campers, overcast, low-pressure days for fishermen and continued snow for skiers.
The Lightest Two-Person Tent—Ever2 of 11
Technology, meet camping. Though its price tag might warrant a slight gasp, the MSR Carbon Reflex 2 is the Ferrari of tents. Available this year, the two-person freestanding tent includes carbon poles, a zipper-less rainfly and weighs less than two pounds. Imagine the load you'll take off your back with this baby.
The Centennial Anniversary of the National Park Service3 of 11
That's right, it's been 100 years since Theodore Roosevelt signed into law the National Park Service Organic Act, which paved the way for our 59 national parks and 350 other natural sites under NPS control. And don't think the National Park Service is letting this milestone slip by without a celebration. The NPS will waive park entrance fees on 16 days throughout the year—16 days when you should all find yourselves visiting a national park.
Trying Something New Each Season4 of 11
If you're a hiker and a camper and scoff at everything else, we're here to tell you, you're missing out on a lot of fun. Instead of packing away your tent this winter, why not strap on snowshoes or cross-country skis instead? Perhaps you could try scrambling in the spring or geocaching in the summer. Whether it's trail running, orienteering, rock climbing or bouldering, there's plenty of fun to be had outside the tent.
This Solar-Powered Backpack5 of 11
These days, you can't leave your home, much less take a long, long stroll through the outdoors without your electronics. Phone, GPS, smartwatches—these all need a charge, and multiple power bricks are sure to weigh you down. Gregory and Goal Zero teamed up to solve this conundrum with a sweet solar backpack that charges all of your devices while you hike and soak up the sun.
Hiking One of 2016's Brand New Trails6 of 11
The new year brings with it newly expanded trail systems. The most noteworthy is the water trails network in the Last Green Valley in Connecticut and Massachusetts. The TLGV expanded this system of three picturesque water trails by 45 miles, which traverses some of the most beautiful lands the Northeast has to offer.
Casio's First Smartwatch7 of 11
Casio's G-Shock watches have long been a favorite for their rugged durability. This year, the company finally enters the smartwatch fray. From the looks of it, the WSD-F10 is everything one would expect: a big, rugged wrist tank that's water-resistant, lasts an entire month on a single charge and comes with a pressure sensor, compass and accelerometer. We certainly can't wait to get one around our wrists.
Visiting an International National Park8 of 11
Though it's our national park system's centennial, other nations have designated national parks, too. This year, if you find yourself wandering outside country lines, take a peek at the natural beauty beyond our own borders. Izta-Popo Zoquiapan in Mexico is stunning and, if you manage to cross the Atlantic, Timanfaya in the Canary Islands is one of the most breathtaking places in the world.
This Awesome Special-Edition Airstream9 of 11
In the hierarchy of recreational vehicles, Airstream certainly sits somewhere near the top, in our opinion. This year, to celebrate the centennial anniversary of the National Park Service, the iconic Airstream partnered with Pendleton Woolen Mills to create this limited-edition travel trailer sure to make every RV enthusiast drool. But don't lick your chops just yet, as this Airstream comes with a price tag of $114,600. We apologize for raining on this wonderful parade.
Thru-Hiking a Triple Crown Trail10 of 11
Is this the year you finally do it? Is this the year your dreams of solitude, self-discovery and overcoming nature's obstacles finally come true? Whether it's the Appalachian, Pacific Crest or Continental Divide (or you've already hiked one or two and are looking to complete the triple crown) putting on that backpack, knowing you'll be feeling that weight for months to come, is a feeling like no other. Good luck to all of you in the new year.